By JOHN RABY
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Sen. Joe Manchin says a group of U.S. senators has agreed to effectively dismantle a commission tasked by the Department of Veterans Affairs to carry out closures, downsizing and other medical facility changes nationwide. Manchin says there is bipartisan support to avoid filling vacancies on the VA’s Assets and Infrastructure Review Commission and to end the commission in the next National Defense Authorization Act. The commission had recommended the closures or downsizing of several older facilities, a proposal that Manchin worried would significantly alter services provided to rural veterans across the country. But other groups had welcomed the commission’s work, saying it was necessary to modernize and improve the VA’s health offerings.